In the magazine business, the Back Page is where you'd find all the weird goofs that we couldn't fit in anywhere else. Some may call it "filler"; we prefer "a whole page to make terrible jokes that are tangentially related to the content of the mag".
We don't have (paper) pages on the internet, but we still love terrible jokes — so welcome to our semi-regular feature, Back Page. Today, Ollie speaks to three people who know better than most just what it takes to be the very best, like no-one ever was...
To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, we’ve put together a special meeting with some very special women. They’re the mothers of the Pokémon Champions from their respective regions and they’ve kindly taken the time to cross the realms of the digital world into the real world to talk through their experiences in supporting their children and what they think of the overarching world of Pokémon.
To protect their privacy (because let’s face it, they get enough attention within their own regions for raising a Pokémon Champion), we’ll be referring to each woman by their region; so we’ve got here with us today 'Johto' (Gold/Silver), 'Alola' (Sun/Moon), and 'Galar' (Sword/Shield).
Nintendo Life: Thanks so much for joining me today and Happy Mother’s Day to you all!
So I wanted to just start off and say what a wonderful job you’ve all done raising the future Pokémon Champions; only ten years old and your kids have accomplished so much! How does it feel?
Galar: It’s ace, y’know, I’m so proud of my little one. I did initially think it would be pretty dangerous; you know, going off on their own, exploring hazardous environments, tackling the gym challenge... It’s a lot for someone so young, but I had every faith that they’d do well.
Johto: Oh absolutely, I agree. I can’t lie, I got mighty upset when they left home to tackle their Pokémon adventure, but I had enough going on back home to keep me occupied. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let them fly the nest, and ten is a ripe old age, isn't it?
Alola: Wait, did you say ‘gym challenge’, [Galar]? What’s that?
Galar: The gyms dotted around the region. You know, “defeat the gym leaders and take on the Elite Four”?
Alola: Uh.. no..? We don’t have that.
Johto: Wait, what?
Alola: Yeah, we don’t have it where I’m from. We have ‘trials’ instead - you have to face off against big, powerful Pokémon - frankly, the gym challenge doesn’t sound particularly fun for my liking.
Galar: You have gyms right, [Johto]?
Johto: Are you kidding? We have the best gyms out of all the regions. In fact, once my kid completed the Elite Four, they were able to hop on over to Kanto and take on the gym challenge there too. Apparently some chap called Iwata made that possible, I dunno…
Alola: I… didn’t know this was such a widespread thing.
Galar: Oh yeah, gyms are where it’s at. This ‘trial’ thing sounds a bit… I’m not sure, trivial?
Alola: I beg your pa—
Okay, okay, I think we’re getting a bit off topic here. Let’s move onto your role within your children’s journeys. How have you supported them during their adventures?
Johto: Oh wow, where do I begin? I started off by making sure my child had the correct daylight saving time set, because that’s absolutely vital in my opinion.
I’ve also been saving some of the money that they’ve been winning from Pokémon battles — you know how kids are with money — but I’ll treat them to the odd Potion or Doll here and there along the way.
Finally, I love to keep in touch with my kid whenever possible through the PokéGear; I just adore hearing their voice and listening to their crazy stories! Y’know, they actually saw a wild Entei the other day? Can you believe it?!
Galar: I, um… I’m here if they want to come home and rest.
Alola: Yeah, me too. We have a Meowth.
Johto: Hold on, hold on… Are you telling me you simply let your kids accumulate money without any kind of guidance or restrictions?
Johto: Well I find that highly irresponsible! Who knows what they’ve been spending that money on? They might rock up back at home with a bag full of Rare Candy!
Alola: Excuse me, but how my child handles their money is of no concern to you!
Galar: Yeah, I think you need to stop now before I really go spare.
Please, can we be civil? I don’t understand this hostility between Pokémon regions...
Johto: Well we all know Gold and Silver are the best…
Alola: Oh, what, because you have day and night cycles? Honey, please…
Johto: Well, it’s better than no gyms. Seriously, no gyms!
Galar: We’ve got Wild Areas.
Johto: … Wild what?
Actually, that’s a nice transition into my next question. Could you describe your different regions for me? Perhaps share your favourite aspect of them?
Galar: ... I might as well start, then. So the Wild Areas are wonderful, my kid wouldn’t stop going on about them. They’re basically big open spaces where you can encounter huge Pokémon, some maybe even dozens of levels above your own! They really are beautiful, picturesque landscapes, with the bustling city of Motostoke in the background… Just gorgeous!
Johto: So… Hang on. Are you saying you have an open world? Like, proper open world?
Galar: Well no, not completely open. Just the wild areas. Everything else is pretty linear to be fair. You know, it’s funny actually, my home town of Postwick only contains my home and Hop’s home, it’s very quaint! Hop is my child’s mate, by the way. Lovely boy.
Alola: Okay, so we thought your region might actually be open world from what you were saying, but I guess not… That’s cool though, no judgement!
Galar: Well, what about yours?!
Alola: Oh my goodness, Alola is stunning. It’s a collection of islands and it’s just so warm, with incredible beaches, palm trees, you name it! Plus, did you know that the word ‘Alola’ is palindromic? Yeah, bet you didn’t!
Johto: No, we totally did.
Alola: Well okay, what about your region?
Johto: Well as I said before, we’ve basically got like two in one, a ‘buy one get one free’ kinda thing with Johto and Kanto. My region is iconic at this point, let’s be honest; all the visitors say it’s their favourite region.
Galar: Did I mention you can actually see the wild Pokémon in Galar?
Alola: Yeah, what’s up with that, actually?
Johto: We were made before Galar was, honey. This new-fangled tech is way beyond my understanding.
Galar: Says Mrs. Daylight Saving Time over here…
Okay, well… I think we’re nearing the end now. To close out then, can you each give a piece of advice to all of the trainers out there who may be just starting out?
Alola: Oh sure! Well, I think I’d mainly say don’t worry about the competition so much. Go at your own pace, explore the world, bond with your Pokémon, and really just make the most of the experience.
Galar: Ditto. [long pause] Sorry, I’m not repeating what Alola said, I’m saying get yourself a Ditto! Oh my gosh, they’re brilliant, and so squishy!
Okay then! And finally, [Johto]?
Johto: Remember to call your mothers! They love you. And hey, that goes to everyone reading this, not just those in the Pokémon world. This pair might lounge around all day, but I can tell you that moms work their absolute butts off to protect and provide for their children, and they deserve all the love in the world.
Amazing. Thank you so much for your time today, I wish you all the very best!
Johto: Thanks, Nintendo Life!